New Vuitton-Kusama collection is a frenzy of dots

Vuitton adds a dash of Japanese culture to collection

Artista Yayoi Kusama
Image Credit: AP
Artista Yayoi Kusama waves to fans in front of the windows of Vuitton's flagship store for the unveiling of a new collaborative collection by Vuitton creative designer Marc Jacobs and Kusama in New York on July 10, 2012.

French fashion house Louis Vuitton is again putting a bit of Japanese culture on the arms of its customers.

The brand, best known for leather goods, was to formally unveil on Tuesday a new collection created in collaboration between Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs. The theme is bold, graphic polka dots — a signature of the artist — offered in a frenzied series of sizes and colours.

Jacobs and Kusama started with inspiration of “obsession and seriality,” according to a company statement.

The dots cover shoes, handbags, shirts, skirts and sunglasses, among other items.

Jacobs met Kusama in 2006. He is an avid art collector and was a fan of Kusama’s sculptures and paintings. “The obsessive character and the innocence of her artwork touch me,” Jacobs said.

In honour of the new products, Louis Vuitton created a splashy display for the brand’s flagship Manhattan store on Fifth Avenue that pays homage to three Kusama motifs: “Beginning of the Universe,” “Eternal Blooming Flowers in My Mind” and “Self-Obliteration.” The building facade is wrapped in a pattern of dots.

The timing of the product launch and building installation coincides with the Whitney Museum of American Art’s new exhibition of Kusama’s work.

A decade ago, Jacobs and Louis Vuitton had great success collaborating with Japanese designer Takashi Murakami on a series of pop-art products that became instant must-haves among the fashion crowd and spawned a seemingly infinite number of mass-market items covered in similar-style rainbow-colored monograms and logos.